I went into labor 9 days after I was maid-of-honor in Maura's wedding. I was about 5 days early and as big as a house. We didn't know if it was going to be a boy or girl, but were hoping for a boy because we wanted John-Paul to have a brother.
Since I had been induced with John-Paul, this was my first "real labor" and it was really slow. My contractions started at 5 am on October 3, 2004 and were on and off all day. By 9 pm that night, I went to the hospital to get checked by my midwife, and found out I was only 3 cm dilated. She said I could either go home or stay the night in the hospital. I was nervous about going home and having to go back to the hospital in the middle of the night, so we decided to stay.
I walked around the hospital for a couple hours, and did countless laps around the maternity wing before I decided to try the stairs to speed things along. Well, little did we know that we weren't allowed to leave the maternity wing, and we got in trouble when we came back from walking the stairs!! However, it was worth it, because my water had broken (only a trickle) and the real heavy labor had begun.
I was trying to go naturally (drug-free) with this labor, but the pain was so intense, and I finally started begging for an epidural. Phil asked the nurse to check my dilation, but she didn't because they had already called for the anaesthesiologist to come. When he got there and gave me the epidural, the midwife finally checked me and said that I was 9 to 10 centimeters! I wish that I had known that before I got the epidural, as I would have tried to go without. But alas, I was able to rest for a while, and then 2 pushes later, Andrew was out!
Andrew was 8 lbs. 4 oz. and looked huge compared to John-Paul's birth weight of 6 lbs. 5 oz. He also looked completely different than our fair John-Paul, as he had dark hair and skin. He was an absolutely adorable baby. I called him our Asian baby, because the shape of his eyes made him look Asian...so cute! We gave him the middle name Pauric because while I was pregnant with him, my Uncle Pauric had died in Ireland. He was a wonderful, holy man whom we all loved. After naming Andrew, we found out that my Uncle had always signed his name "Pauric" but it was really "Padraig", the Irish form of Patrick. Whoops! Now Andrew has a funny story to tell about his name in the future!
Andrew was a difficult baby as he had colic, but I cut dairy out of my diet for the first 4 months of breastfeeding, and he successfully breastfed until 11 months old! He never once took a bottle or a pacifier, he only wanted me or his thumb. He was a very energetic baby, and started walking at 9 months!!! He wasn't speaking well at 1 years old (he always said "Daditch" for everything), and we found out he needed tubes in his ears because they were filled with fluid and he hadn't been properly hearing us, which is why he wasn't talking. After the surgery at 19 months old, he started talking like crazy!
Today, Andrew is still energetic, but much more easy-going than he used to be. He is quite the charmer, and is the best student in his preschool class. He always listens to his teachers and never gets in trouble. He has them wrapped around his little finger, and he will always hold a special place in my heart....